AAS 498 - DAAS In Action
Winter 2022, Section 002 - James Baldwin's Legacy
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Afroamerican & African Studies (AAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
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Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


CHECK IT OUT - Video Description!

AAS 498:
"What's Love (Sex+Race) Got To Do with It: Reading James Baldwin in the 21st Century."

Tina Turner's famous 1984 song seems to have little to do with James Baldwin's last, still underappreciated novel, Just above My Head (1979). And yet, the question called out in Turner's song, which was released a few years after Baldwin's book had come out, helps us understand not only the complex, experimental, and daring masterpiece of fiction that is Baldwin's last novel, but also the development of his revolutionary, intersectional philosophy of love throughout his fiction.

In this seminar, we will examine Baldwin's novels written between 1953 and 1979, his selected short stories ("Sonny's Blues," "Going to Meet the Man") and essays. Our focus will be on the ways in which it is Baldwin's fiction, which has been often misunderstood and dismissed by critics, that examines and anticipates most directly the complex ways in which we approach racialized gender, sexuality, and erotic attraction in our own historical moment. We will explore his daring inclusion of plots involving interracial couples, queer and other non-normative sexual attachments, and his attention to issues like class, religiosity, colorism, and family violence that politics of respectability often keeps hidden and unspoken within African American communities.

The course is open to graduate students at all levels, with the understanding that their midterm and final requirements will be adjusted to fulfill graduate credit.


AAS 498 - DAAS In Action
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (SEM)
 In Person
Tu 1:00PM - 4:00PM

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